From WikiTemp, the GBAtemp wiki
Revision as of 20:21, 17 January 2010 by tj_cool (talk | contribs) (Undo revision 30661 by Dianamontiz (Talk) - NO)

GBAtemp began as a small GBA ROM site in 2002, created by it's original admin, an Italian guy named KiVan.
KiVan was a GBA scene freak, always behind the latest ROM releases. He was both for playing them (first on emulator, then came the 'real hardware', aka flash carts) and for sharing them with others.
Motivated by his passion for the GBA games and by the relative difficulty of getting the ROMs on IRC channels soon after the release, he came up with the idea to host some of the latest ROMs himself, to help out close and far friends that shared his same passion: the GBA. So he started to keep a constantly up-to-date web page, where he provided always-working links to the LATEST 10 GBA ROMs. A very simple and straightforward page: just some text & images, and links to the ROMs of course .
He started to become well-known in the scene because he was blazingly fast in updating the web page (split-seconds after the ROM was released, KiVan uploaded it on the hosting web space and updated the page with the links), and he almost never had any broken links (well he had them, but he worked VERY VERY hard to update old dead links with new links as soon as he noticed them down... and that was REAL fast since he was a real 'F5' refresh maniac).
That page was called GBAtemp, mostly because it was a GBA ROMs page, but always TEMP(orary), since KiVan had to switch hosting nearly everyday, and KiVan worked hard for it: by updating every hour or less the page with the newest ROMs & by always keeping the web page & the ROMs online, using a free dynamic DNS service in order to automatically give people the link to the latest, constantly changing, working web space.
Back at the time, people knew that if you wanted to check the last ROM released or if you needed a hand to get just released GBA ROM, GBAtemp was the place to be.
Keeping up with the ever flowing releases and the web hosting shutdowns was no easy feat, but KiVan was well prepared for the task. He had tons of different 'free' webspaces registered to always different fake names: he kept registering new spaces every day with fake names and IDs, and he kept this 'pool' of free hosting web spaces so as soon as the web page or one of the ROMs went down (mostly because the hosting company finally noticed KiVan playing bad tricks with THEIR web space), he could easily and quickly replace the link with a new one.
KiVan was at the time, a university student in computer science at the 'Università degli Studi di Milano' in Milan (Italy), and from the university computers room he administered GBAtemp and played every single GBA release as soon as they came out along with several friends: Omero, Alexander, Zel and Garet. They all had GBAs and flash cards and so non-stop multiplayer and single player 10 hours per day was pretty much the 'usual everyday stuff' for them.
Then things started to change: the GBAtemp name spread quickly, and two of KiVan's close friends (Omero and Alexander) joined him to help out with GBAtemp, and so they started to add 'features' to that tiny page: first a guest book (it sucked big time, but it was used as a sort of make-shift message/relay board), then the chance for users to give feedback to the ROMs, then some news, etc...
At some time, they came up with the idea of making it a forum, a community. Here came M4D (an Italian gaming services portal), which helped a lot by providing GBAtemp a server to be for quite a long time, giving bandwidth & server all for free. This was the chance for the guys to make GBAtemp into something big for real.
On 24 October 2002, the Invision Power Board forums and portal were officially opened, hosted by M4D server. Omero and Alexander helped KiVan install and manage the board. The site boasted an impressive portal, it was an original design and quite different from normal IPB portals, this led to many other sites cloning the portal layout. Despite the Italian origins, English was picked as the language of choice, because KiVan, Omero and Alexander wanted GBAtemp to be the #1 GBA Scene Community on the web, and English is by far the most widespread and well-known language, so it was the only 'right' choice for that, simple enough. Also because of this, the forums quickly grew in size and the new GBAtemp attracted a lot of attention.
About half a year into the forums life, the staff had to come to the decision that ROMs would no longer be available to download from GBAtemp, and all warez and other illegal material would be ruled out on the forum. The reason this was done is because a lot of members and the staff themselves had really come to appreciate the forums and each other, and didn't want to risk losing the community they had built up. So to avoid legal issues and to make sure GBAtemp was never shut down, all ROMs, ROM links, warez and more were now strictly forbidden on the 'new GBAtemp'.
Here is what GBAtemp looked like on January 07, 2003.
GBAtemp has gone through several revisions and skins over the years. The website is now over seven years old!